Geodesic Universality in General Relativity

Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1076-1088 (2013)

Abstract
According to recent arguments, the geodesic principle strictly interpreted is compatible with Einstein’s field equations only in pathologically unstable circumstances and, hence, cannot play a fundamental role in the theory. It is shown here that geodesic dynamics can still be coherently reinterpreted within contemporary relativity theory as a universality thesis. By developing an analysis of universality in physics, I argue that the widespread geodesic clustering of diverse free-fall massive bodies observed in nature qualifies as a universality phenomenon. I then show how this near-geodetic clustering can be explained despite the pathologies associated with strict geodesic motion in Einstein’s theory
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DOI 10.1086/674057
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Critical Phenomena and Breaking Drops: Infinite Idealizations in Physics.Robert Batterman - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):225-244.
Proving the Principle: Taking Geodesic Dynamics Too Seriously in Einstein's Theory.Michael Tamir - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (2):137-154.

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